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Women Add Further Depth To Great Race Day

11 August 2004

Women Add Further Depth To Great Race Day

A high-level clash between the women's rowing eights of Waikato University and Australian national champions Melbourne University will be a feature of Hamilton's Great Race day on 4 September.

The women will compete for a new Bryan Gould Cup, named after Waikato University's current Vice-Chancellor who retires at the end of the year. The trophy will in future be up for grabs on annual Great Race days in contests between a Waikato women's crew and an invited overseas or New Zealand crew.

"A Waikato University women's crew has raced an NZ Rowing academy crew as a curtain raiser to the main event in each of the past two years," says Mark Ingle, general manager of the university's Campus Services. "But the women's team has been keen for some time to emulate the men's crew with some crack international competition as part of the Great Race day and this has now been achieved.

"The Waikato University Rowing Club gained a prompt acceptance of its invitation to Melbourne, which has a very strong women's eight, being top in Australia at present.

"However, the Waikato eight will include Bess Halley, Jaime Nielson and Darnelle Timbs, who were part of the NZ under-23 quad crew that won the world under-23 title in Poland recently. So, clearly, with three world champions in our boat, it's shaping up into a great contest."

The main event on Great Race day is the clash between the Waikato University men's eight and a crew from Britain's Cambridge University. Each year, Waikato races either Cambridge or Oxford University for the Harry Mahon Memorial Trophy.

ENDS

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